Mahan Air to shuttle Chinese tourists to Banja Luka


Iranian carrier Mahan Air, which plans to launch services between its base in Tehran to Banja Luka on July 21, has been issued permits by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate for Civil Aviation to commence the flights. The Directorate noted that Mahan Air's primary purpose will be to shuttle Chinese tour groups to Banja Luka. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of only four European countries, along with neighbouring Serbia, which does not require entry visas for Chinese passport holders. However, tickets for the Tehran - Banja Luka service can also be purchased freely online through Mahan Air's website, with return economy class tickets hovering at around 250 euros and business class fares at 1.000 euros.

As previously reported, Mahan Air will operate two weekly flights between the two cities, each Friday and Sunday, with a 202-seat Airbus A310-300 aircraft. The airline maintains scheduled flights to some fifty destinations including four in China - Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Without naming the Iranian carrier, Banja Luka Airport's operator, Aerodromi Republike Srpske, said, "Flights will operate from a number of Chinese cities several times per week. We expect a big increase in the number of Chinese visitors to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, because these countries have a visa-free regime with China". However, it should be noted that Montenegro does not offer Chinese passport-holders visa free entry, as incorrectly stated by the airport operator.

The privately owned Mahan Air is Iran's second largest carrier, behind state-owned Iran Air The new service will mark the resumption of intercontinental flights to Banja Luka after seven years. In 2012, the US-registered Gryphon Airlines ran several charter flights from Kuwait to Bosnia and Herzegovina's second largest city with a Boeing 767-200 aircraft leased from Thailand's Jet Asia Airways. Banja Luka Airport previously said it was in talks over the introduction of a new intercontinental service, to Africa. Its General Manager, Zoran Injac, noted, "We have plans to introduce one new route to Africa, however, it is too early to give any details". The airport is looking to extend its portfolio of destinations following its revival last October, when Ryanair introduced flights from Charleroi, Memmingen and Stockholm Skavsta.

Flight details for Mahan Air's Tehran - Banja Luka service can be found here.




Comments

  1. Maribor Airport: We will become the regional centre for Chinese tourists with numerous flights.

    Banja Luka Airport: Hold my beer

    ReplyDelete
  2. Couldn't they have found a better partner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure the Chinese initiated this as they are quite cozy with the Iranians. Plus it's also helping Iran get some additional business to overcome the sanctions. It's a win win situation.

      Delete
    2. Had the Chinese initiated it they would get a Chinese airline to operate the flights. One thing Chinese do is never give jobs they can do to others. Even roads and bridges that are being built around the world through Chinese loans are built by Chinese construction companies and construction workers.

      Delete
  3. love how BNX is trying to present that these flights from China will be nonstop, which they aren't

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. And they should have researched that Chinese need visas to enter Montenegro.

      Delete
  4. Mahan Air was recently banned from flying to Germany and France. But they did launch Tehran - Caracas last month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because of US pressure not because of safety.

      Delete
  5. They make money with charters ...
    We should prohibit charters !
    Chartes are evil .

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow when was the last time a passenger A310 landed somewhere in ex-Yu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last year in Belgrade but it was shortly after upgraded to Airbus 340-300.

      Delete
    2. True forgot about that

      Delete
  7. Story of the year so far.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ex-Yu Aviation ruined BNX's plans to keep the fact that an Iranian airline is the operator quiet :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it almost seems they are embarrassed to say.

      Delete
  9. What are the other two European countries that don't require visas for Chinese?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. San Marino and Belarus.

      Delete
    2. Haha San Marino. Only problem is you can't get there without entering Italy.

      Delete
  10. Are the fares cheaper than say with Turkish Airlines from Sarajevo to Tehran via Istanbul?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is but it depends on the date. Tickets are not fixed.

      Delete
  11. Good news for spotters.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is so fishy

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wishing BHX all the very best. The once "sleepy" airport is growing nicely with a mix of LCC, charter and medium-haul traffic.
    Lets hope this route will also last longer. Serbia was pretty unlucky with China.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anyone have any photos of the cabins on Mahan Airs A310?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go to " Google Images " ...
      Type in " mahan air a310 cabins " .

      Delete
  15. Very interesting development. So Banja Luka gets Chinese tourists AND flights to Tehran.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Story of the year so far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely the weirdest one of the year.

      Delete
  17. How many additional passengers could this generate?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congratulations to Republika Srpska for thinking outside the box. I am curious what kind of route these tourists will take?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Will this be seasonal or year round?

    ReplyDelete
  20. The return fare is fantastic actually. Great opportunity to visit Iran.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If this materialize I will visit Banja Luka
      (never been there) because than I want to visit Iran. I'm not joking. Great move!

      Delete
    2. Unless you are a woman.

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    3. HAHAHAHAH Anon 14.01 sorry, you confused Iran with Saudi Arabia.

      Delete
    4. No I did not.
      It is even worse for women in Iran

      Delete
    5. I bet you have never been to either country.

      Delete
    6. Don't need to have. We live in the 21st century and we can easily get informed about pretty much everything that is going on our planet.
      You should really try informing yourself.

      Delete
  21. Well this was unexpected

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can say thay again. Really odd.

      Delete
  22. Mahan should do charters for Chinese tourists to Belgrade !
    Or even to Nis or Kraljevo .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Belgrade Airport stopped offering services to Mahan when they were blaclisted by US. This was well before visas were reintroduced for Iranians

      Delete
    2. That was when Vinci took over Belgrade airport.

      But Nis and Kraljevo are not owned by Vinci and flights would be possible .
      Look Mahan does even fly to Barcelona, Rome and Milan despite sanctions.

      Delete
    3. Kraljevo can bearly handle an A320 without restrictions.

      Delete
  23. Air Serbia should codeshare with Mahan on Banja Luka-Tehran and Mahan with Air Serbia on Banja Luka-Belgrade !

    Vinci may forbid Mahan to land in Belgrade but they can not hinder Air Serbia to codeshare with them .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe the Americans would ban JU flights to JFK if they codeshared with an Iranian airline under sanctions by the US.

      Delete
    2. Why would they? LH codeshares with IR.

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    3. Only because of a codeshare ?
      This would be a precedent .

      Delete
    4. No Anon 14:03, LH does not codeshare with IR.

      Delete
  24. The Mahan Air website is offering connecting flights from Banja Luka (via Tehran) to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore... Waiting time in Tehran is usually short. Price can be good. Check for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Delhi too.

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    2. But service it's unreliable and planned are very old.

      Delete
  25. It's good to see a new, small regional player in the area. BNX is now a nice mix of traffic ranging from low cost to intercontinental ones.
    From Teheran to Brussels and from Dublin to Berlin.

    Well done BNX!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. FR should open a BNX base and have W flights out of there to include SJJ as well. I am sure some destinations like Berlin or Brussels could work even with Sarajevo's idiotic fees.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Last year about 600k tourists visited Sarajevo alone while about 350k visited RS, not Banja Luka (about 80k by the way), the entire entity. 

    ReplyDelete
  28. BNX's time is only coming right now. 

    ReplyDelete
  29. Talking of BNX:

    'Aerodrom Banjaluka zabeležio je 12.460 putnika u aprilu i to je rekord ovog aerodroma...'
    'Tako je u ovom periodu bilo 39.065 putnika, dok ih je u celoj prošloj godini bilo nešto više od 36.000...'

    https://www.blic.rs/vesti/republika-srpska/obara-rekord-kroz-banjalucki-aerodrom-u-aprilu-proslo-12460-putnika/f5ttm4g

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Old news
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/05/banja-luka-maintains-growth-momentum.html

      Delete
  30. Do Bosnian passports need visas to enter Iran?

    ReplyDelete

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